With the proliferation of online lectures, working groups and all manner of events, we at the JHI Blog thought it would be a good idea to consolidate news and opportunities relevant to our colleagues working in intellectual history. We will publish these roundups of public lectures, conferences, calls for papers, working groups and new journal issues every other Saturday.

We encourage our readers to send us information and updates about any news or events that fits within this scope. You can use this form to let us know about something you’d like us to publicize.

Author talk: “Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights”
Gretchen Sorin (SUNY Oneonta) in conversation with Catherine Allgor (MHS)

Driving While Black demonstrates that the car—the ultimate symbol of independence and possibility— has always held particular importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road. Melding new archival research with her family’s story, Gretchen Sorin recovers a lost history, demonstrating how, when combined with black travel guides—including the famous Green Book—the automobile encouraged a new way of resisting oppression.

Massachusetts Historical Society (MSH)
February 1, 5:3 – 6:30 pm (Eastern Time, US and Canada). Register.


Lecture: “Feedbacks and Tipping Points in Nature and Society”
Speaker: Dag O. Hessen (University of Oslo)

The contested term Anthropocene is widely used as a conceptual frame to describe the most recent era in Earth’s history where humans have radically changed the planet’s climate and ecosystems (Croetzen & Stoermer 2000). Drawing on current research, the lectures in this series explore how disciplines such as biology, earth system science, history, anthropology, geography, philosophy, science fiction studies or law respond and can contribute to a better understanding of the current planetary crisis. At the same time, the talks in this series ask about possibilities for far-reaching environmental and socio-political transformations.

The Oslo School of Environmental Humanities.
February 2, 4:15-5:00 pm (Central European Time). Register.


Author talk: “Ascent to Glory: How One Hundred Years of Solitude Was Written and Became a Global Classic”
Speaker: Álvaro Santana-Acuña (Whitman College)
Commentators: Gisèle Sapiro (École des hautes études en sciences sociales; Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France); Mariano Siskind (Harvard University); Diana Sorensen (Harvard University).

Translated into dozens of languages, One Hundred Years of Solitude continues to enter the lives of new readers around the world. How did it achieve this unlikely success? And what does its trajectory tell us about how a work of art becomes a classic? Ascent to Glory is a groundbreaking study of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Álvaro Santana-Acuña, from the moment García Márquez first had the idea for the novel to its global consecration

Organized by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and cosponsored by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University. 
February 2, 12:00 pm (Eastern Time, US and Canada). Register.


Author talk: “Futures of Enlightenment Poetry by Dustin Stewart”
Author: Dustin Stewart (Columbia University)
Panelists: Sophie Gee (Princeton University), Julie Crawford (Columbia University), Christopher Brown (Columbia University), Alan Stewart (Columbia University).

Dustin Stewart’s Futures of Enlightenment Poetry offers a revisionist account of poetry and embodiment from Milton to Romanticism. Scholars have made much of the period’s theories of matter, with some studies equating the eighteenth century’s modernity with its materialism. Yet the Enlightenment in Britain also brought bold new arguments for the immateriality of spirit and evocative claims about an imminent spirit realm. Protestant religious writing was of two minds about futurity, swinging back and forth between patience for the resurrected body and desire for the released soul. This ancient pattern carried over, the book argues, into understandings of poetry as a modern devotional practice. 

Presented by New Books in the Arts & Sciences.
The Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.
February 3, 6:15 pm (Eastern Time, US and Canada). Register.


Lecture: “Fugitive Archaeological Spaces
Part of #BlackInArchaeologyWeek
Panelists: (University of California, Merced); (New Mexico Highlands University; founding member of the Black Trowel Collective); Patricia Marinho (PhD, Archaeologist, Technical Advisor for Quilombola community, and a member of Rede de Arqueologia Negra); Jeannette Plummer Sires (Curator of Archaeological Assemblages at the British Museum and a founding member of the European Society of Black and Allied Archaeologists)

Moderated by Justin Dunnavant (Vanderbilt University and Co-founder/President of the Society of Black Archaeologists)

In this panel members of these new and emerging organizations will discuss their genesis, initiatives, as well as challenges and opportunities associated with empowering their communities in archaeology and heritage preservation.

Sponsored by the Society of Black Archaeologists, Indigenous Archaeology Collective, Archaeological Research Center at UC Santa Cruz, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and SAPIENS
February 3, 4pm (Eastern Time, US and Canada). Register.


Lecture: “Nature’s Evil. A Cultural History of Natural Resources”
Speakers: Alexander Etkind (European University Institute at Florence); Maxine Berg (University of Warwick); Katja Castryck-Naumann (Leibniz-Institute for the History and Culture of Easter Europe, GWZO; European Network in Universal and Global History); Giorgio Riello (European University Institute; University of Warwick); Dina Gusejnova (London School of Economics and Political Science)

In his forthcoming book, Nature’s Evil. A Cultural History of Natural Resources (Polity, 2021), Alexander Etkind explores the non-human agency of natural resources such as sugar, fur, hemp, oil and others in their relations with the changing character of states. In their interaction with technology and labour, he argues, different natural resources give rise to different social institutions. The book looks at the classical problem of evil from two perspectives, postcolonial and postsocialist. The discussion of the book and its approach to what Etkind calls a ‘cultural history of natural resources’ will be followed by a roundtable conversation. Here, leading experts on global and transnational history will share ideas and practices of researching and teaching environmental history and the history of material culture from a global perspective.

Department of International History.
London School of Economics and Political Science.
February 4, 5:00pm-6:30pm (Eastern European Time/ GMT + 00:00). Register.


Author talk: “Pipe Dreams: Water and Empire in Central Asia’s Aral Sea Basin”
Author: Maya Peterson (University of California, Santa Cruz)

This book talk explores the ways in which both the tsarist and Soviet regimes used fantasies of bringing the deserts to life as a means of claiming legitimacy in Central Asia, a process that ultimately led to the drying up of Central Asia’s Aral Sea. 

Central Asia Working Group. Berkeley Institute of East Asian Studies.
February 4, 8:00 pm (Eastern Time, US and Canada). Register.


Lecture: “W.E.B. DuBois, Franz Boas, and ‘the Real Race Problem'”
Lee Baker (Duke University)

In this lecture on DuBois and anthropology, Dr. Baker will outline the relationship between DuBois and Boas during the first decade of the 20th century and describe how DuBois pragmatically used anthropology in The Crisis and other publications to elevate and vindicate African Americans in the struggle for freedom, liberty, and justice for all. Dr. Baker will also highlight the racist anti-racism of American Anthropology because Boas sincerely believed that “the real race problem” was the slow pace of racial amalgamation. After all, he explained, “in a race of octaroons, living among whites, the color question would probably disappear.”

Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University and Department of African & African-American Studies @ Duke University (AAAS)
February 5, 09:30-11:00am (Eastern Time, US and Canada). Register.


Author talk: “Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization by Michael Rothberg”
Author: Michael Rothberg (University of California, Los Angeles)

In this lecture, which coincides with the publication of the German translation of Multidirectional Memory, Michael Rothberg will introduce the arguments of his book, discuss its pertinence to coming to terms with colonial and genocidal pasts, and reflect on what it means to think multidirectionally today – in contemporary Germany and beyond. In the course of the lecture he will refer to some of the anticolonial and antiracist figures he discusses in the book – including Aimé Césaire and W.E.B. Du Bois – as well as the context of the Algerian War of Independence.

 Jour Fixe Initiative Berlin.
February 7, 7:00 pm (Central European Time). Register.


Conference: “Illiberal Liberals: The Complexities of Progressive Ideals in the Twentieth-Century United States”
Panelists include Chris Babits (Utah State University), David Mislin (Temple University), Lora D. Burnett (Collin College), Augusta Dell’Omo (The University of Texas at Austin), and Benjamin L. Alpers (University of Oklahoma).

Discussions of the late twentieth century culture wars in the United States tend to default to stark dichotomies: liberal, educated elites in cosmopolitan areas are presented in contrast to conservative populists in rural America. While useful as a way of framing the broad contours of this political and cultural divide, this characterization obscures the diversity present on each side of the debate. The papers on this panel seek to interrogate this complexity by exploring three cases of “illiberal liberals”: individuals and groups whose progressive values contained decidedly conservative impulses.

 This panel is part of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History’s annual meeting, #USIH2021.
February 8, 7:00 pm (Eastern Time, US and Canada). Register.


Book Presentation: The Resistance Network: The Armenian Genocide and Humanitarianism in Ottoman Syria, 1915–1918, by Khatchig Mouradian

In conversation with Elyse Semerdjian (Whitman College), Margaret Lavinia Anderson (University of California Berkeley), Hamid Dabashi (Columbia University), Gil Hochberg (Columbia University) at the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.

February 9, 6:00pm EST. Register.


Lecture: “Two Ottoman Jewish Physicians,” by Prof. M. Shefer Mossensohn

Part of the evening lecture series “Jews and Health: Tradition, History, Practice” at the SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies.

February 10, 17:00 – 18:00 CET. Register.


Lecture: “The Ethical Algorithm and the Future of Choice,” by Prof. Michael Kearns

Hosted by the Wolf Humanities Center and co-sponsored by the Department of Computer and Information Science and the Cinema & Media Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

February 10, 5:00pm EST. Register.


Book Launch: “Women’s International Thought: A New History,” edited by Patricia Owens and Katharina Rietzler

Discussion with Duncan Bell (Cambridge), Synne Dyvik (Sussex), and Matthew Specter (Berkeley), chaired by Joanne Paul (Sussex), at the Sussex Centre for Intellectual History.

February 11, 17:00 – 18:30 CET. Register.


Conference: The (Re)Construction of the World: Aid. Solidarity. Politics.

With Achille Mbembe, Susan Buck-Morss, Rita Segato, Ulrike Herrmann, Sandro Mezzadra, Jean Ziegler. Hosted by Medico International, see full schedule here.

February 12-14. Register.


Call for Papers: “Decolonising Archives, Rethinking Canons: Writing Intellectual Histories of Global Entanglements.”
Read full call here.

Both abstracts for individual presentation (350 words) and panel proposals (1200 words) are welcome. Submissions should be sent to cantabconference@gmail.com no later than the 5th of February, 2021.  The two-day conference will be hosted online, tentatively on the 26-27 March, 2021, between 9-6 PM GMT. 

For queries, feel free to write to Shuvatri Dasgupta (sd781@cam.ac.uk) or Rohit Dutta Roy (rd548@cam.ac.uk), Faculty of History, University of Cambridge.

Supported by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge.


Call for Papers: “Socialist Political Thought in East Central Europe, 1889–1968: Concepts, Debates, Questions.”
Read full call here.

Workshop taking place May 14 and 15, 2021 at Central European University in Budapest or online. Organized by the Intellectual History in East Central Europe Research Network. Initial paper proposals should be between 350–500 words in length. Applicants should include a short biographic summary with the applicant’s current institutional affiliation(s). Final paper presentations should strive to be between 20–25 minutes in length in order to allow for 15–20 minutes for Q&A sessions for each paper. The deadline for proposals is February 15.

Please send the documents to the following addresses:
Cody James Inglis (inglis_cody-james@phd.ceu.edu)
Una Blagojević (blagojevic_una@phd.ceu.edu)
Stefan Gužvica (guzvica.stefan@gmail.com)


Call for Papers: “Crisis and Its Temporalities.”
Read full call here.

2nd European University Institute Graduate Conference in Intellectual History, to take place on May 19-20, 2021 via Zoom. To submit a paper or propose a panel, please e-mail a short bio along with a titled abstract or panel proposal to our conference email address: ihwg.eui@protonmail.com. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words for papers of 20 minutes of length. Panel proposals should not exceed 900 words. Please note that applicants must be doctoral researchers and must not have defended their thesis by the dates of the conference. 

The call for abstract submissions will close on February 26 and successful applicants will be notified by March 9.


Call for Papers: “Emergency in the History of Political Thought.”
Read full call here.

The 12th Annual London Graduate Conference, 24-25 June 2021, will explore the theme of ‘Emergency in the History of Political Thought’. To apply, please email a C.V. along with your proposal to historyofpoliticalthoughtnet@gmail.com.. Abstracts should be no more than 500 words for papers of 20 minutes in length. Panel proposals should include the titles of individual papers and not exceed 1500 words in total. As this is a graduate conference, please note that the organizers can only consider proposals from applicants who have not been awarded a doctorate. The conference will most likely follow a hybrid format. Please let us know whether you would like to present in person, circumstances permitting, or online, and which timezone you are based in.

For any queries, please contact the Organising Committee via email: historyofpoliticalthoughtnet@gmail.com.

The call for papers will close on March 26 at 23:59 GMT. Successful applicants will be notified no later than 28 April 2021

Featured Image: The Newspaper. James Tissot, 1883. The Art Institute of Chicago.